Salome, from the portfolio Prevalence of Ritual

Romare Howard Bearden, American, 1911 - 1988



Screenprint on wove paper

Edition 17/100

Sheet: 32 1/4 × 40 1/8 in. (81.9 × 101.9 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the William S. Rubin Fund

Art © Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY



Sirocco Screenprinters, Inc., North Haven, Connecticut


Cordier & Ekstrom & Ives-Sullivan, New York, New York


Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Numbered, lower left, in graphite: P.R.III. 17/100; signed and dated, lower right, in graphite: Romare Bearden / 74


Salome depicts the New Testament story of the beheading of John the Baptist. On the right, Salome holds a silver platter bearing the Baptist’s head. She has requested his beheading after he preached against the marriage of her mother Herodias, depicted at center, to Herod, the figure draped in red and yellow fabric. Salome presents the head to her mother as a gift. The figure in the background is not clearly identified but could represent Herodias’s first husband, to whom John the Baptist claimed she was still married. In this work, Bearden expresses the universally understood themes of martyrdom and sacrifice and applies them to the black experience by featuring black subjects. As a postmodern artist, Bearden reclaims the stylistic influence of the West African masks from such early modernist artists as Brancusi and Picasso, who appropriated African culture in the early 20th century.

From the 2019 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 97, Black Bodies on the Cross, curated by Victoria McCraven '19, Homma Family Intern

Course History

WGST 51.8, The Femme Fatale in Literature, Film, and Myth, Paul Carranza, Spring 2014

SART 31/SART 72, Painting II/III, Jennifer Caine, Winter 2020

AAAS 88.19, Contemporary African-American Artists, Michael Chaney, Summer 2021

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 97, Black Bodies on the Cross, Victoria McCraven, Class of 2019, Homma Family Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, November 9, 2019-January 4, 2020.

Romare Bearden: Collages, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 24-April 12, 1998.

Publication History

Victoria McCraven, A Space for Dialogue 97, Black Bodies on the Cross, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2020.


Cordier and Ekstrom, Inc., New York, New York; sold to present collection, 1975.

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